Occasionally plants have strange names. Like this sneezeweed. The scientific name is Helenium. The eponym here was Helen of Troy from Greek mythology. At least that is what it says in the literature. This is also a bit strange, because the plant in its wild form comes from the American continent. However, the cultivated form on the two photos below is named after the female German first name 'Waltraut'. Today this name is not very common anymore, but it was quite popular in the generation of my parents and grandparents. How this sneezeweed came to this name, I do not know. Now, of course, I have done some research to find out what 'Waltraut' means. In modern German, the origin of the name is no longer clear. The answer is that the first name is very old and comes from an early form of the German language. The Old High German, which was spoken in the period before the 10th century. 'Waltraut' therefore means something like that: The strong one on the battlefield. I was lucky then. The flower has been extremely peaceful towards me. The German name of the plant genus is 'Sonnenbraut', which literally means sun bride. I photographed 'Waltraut' on a very sunny Saturday morning in the Botanical Garden in my home town Bielefeld.

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Sneezeweed (Helenium 'Waltraut') #1

Sneezeweed (Helenium) in the Botanical Garden Bielefeld (Germany).


Sneezeweed (Helenium 'Waltraut') #2

Sneezeweed (Helenium) in the Botanical Garden Bielefeld (Germany).

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